Feeds

PowerGen gives lessons on stupidity

And we congratulate a competitor on a job well done

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

My god, PowerGen's security cock-up may be the biggest example of Net stupidity we've ever seen. If the man that discovered the gaping hole is to be believed (and there's no reason to suppose he shouldn't) he simply cut the end of Powergen's URL, hit return, and was presented with a directory of 700 customers.

Not only is this a staggeringly poor level of security but this list included the following: credit card
number, expiry date, address, phone number, email address and the amount and date of their last payment to Powergen. With this information, a credit card fraud of enormous proportions could be easily pulled off by a tramp with a mobile phone.

But it gets worse. Reg competitor Silicon.com is read by John Chamberlain and he contacted them with his side of the story. When he found the list, he contacted PowerGen immediately. They said they would sort it out but refused to contact others on the list. Concerned about card abuse, Chamberlain complained to the Data Protection Commissioner. Powergen (stupid move number 3) then denied the security breakdown had happened.

So, Silicon then took a larger list of 2,500 customers, contacted them directly and confirmed all the details on the list. It then called PowerGen, which finally admitted to the situation but then amazingly started accusing Chamberlain of being a hacker.

We wait with bated breath to find out the next stupid utterance to come out of PowerGen's gob.

What the hell is going on here? We've all got used to security/hacking stories and you would have thought companies had taken it to heart. Apparently not. Incredible. ®

Related stories

PowerGen security cock-up

Links

Silicon.com (you'll have to enter as a guest if you haven't registered)

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.